LONG LIST REVIEW: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow



Morrigan Crow is a cursed child who is doomed to die on her 11th birthday after a short life full of blame for everything from the death of a cat to gravy stains on the tablecloth.

As the inauspicious day arrives and she awaits her death, the wonderful but decidedly odd Jupiter North arrives to rescue her, snatching her from the clutches of the ‘Hunt of Smoke and Shadow’ (the means of her demise) and transports her to the magical city of Nevermoor.

The surprising reason for this turn of events is that Jupiter has chosen Morrigan as his unlikely candidate for the prestigious ‘Wundrous Society’; a select group of ‘people’ with extraordinary abilities of which he is a member. In order to get into this society, Morrigan must compete against other candidates in 4 deadly and difficult trials.

Each competitor has been  chosen for their ‘knack,’ a unique talent that sets them apart from others that will help them in their endeavour- that is, all the competitors except Morrigan- whose concern over her distinct lack of anything remarkable does not seem to bother her patron at all.

Morrigan likes her new colourful world which contains the friends and feeling of belonging her old life lacked: failing to get into the Society would see her exiled and return to the fate of the ‘Hunt’ so despite the seemingly insurmountable odds she is determined to succeed.

Nevermoor is a cinematic thrill ride of a read!

The intrepid, intelligent Morrigan Crow with her dry humour in the face of danger and her very human need to belong has sorted my ‘World Book Day’ costume dilemmas out for the foreseeable future and  the amazing world building that Jessica Townsend has done with Nevermoor and the truly awe inspiring Hotel Deucalion have been added to my list of fictional places that just HAVE to be realised and visited immediately.

Nevermoor and its inhabitants are as palpable as any J K Rowling  creation and those who love all things Potter will fall headlong into this brand new, much needed world of discovery and just like Morrigan, not want to leave. It is therefore good news that this book is the first in a series.

‘Nevermoor; The Trials of Morrigan Crow’ fully deserves its place in the ‘Read Aloud’ category of the ‘North Somerset Teachers Book Award’. It is a joy to read Morrigan’s story to a new magic- hungry generation and I can fully see this book being quoted by adults of the future as ‘the book that made them a reader’.

Nevermoor- The Trials of Morrigan Crow   Jessica Townsend

Orion     ISBN:  978-1510103825

You can read about Jessica's visit to one of our schools here.